Business Quotes

Most popular business quotes

People will buy anything that is 'one to a customer.'

persuasion sales

Pick business partners with high intelligence, energy, and, above all, integrity.

startup

Almost all good businesses engage in 'pain today, gain tomorrow' activities.

management patience

There is no skill called "business." Avoid business magazines and business classes.
Smart CEOs try to create visible victories within days of taking the job, to set the tone. It's all about the psychology.

CEO

Business is business.
Turnarounds seldom turn.

investing

Uncertainty kills business.
There are no dumb customers.

customers sales

Business is the salt of life.
So little done, so much to do.
Business is in itself a power.
Dispatch is the soul of business.
Business begs. Philanthropy begs.
Business is other people's money.
Do business, but be not a slave to it.
If you have to forecast, forecast often.
Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.

optimism

Never ask a barber if you need a haircut.

financial industry

Drive thy business, or it will drive thee.
Cannibals prefer those who have no spines.
Business is a combination of war and sport.
Make the workmanship surpass the materials.
Real riches are the riches possessed inside.
You can't make a good deal with a bad person.
The consumer isn't a moron; she is your wife.
Monopoly is business at the end of its journey.
Television is business, and business is America.

television

Men of business must not break their word twice.
Our work is the presentation of our capabilities.
Buy low, sell high, collect early, and pay later.
The buck stops with the guy who signs the cheques.
The easier it is to quantify, the less it's worth.

management

He who aims
to keep abreast
is forever
second best.

leadership management

More businesses die of indigestion than starvation.
The best way to predict your future is to create it.

famous future motivational

I have no friends and no enemies - only competitors.
Seeing the change does not equal creating the change.

change

My idea of a group decision is to look in the mirror.

decision-making management

The big print giveth and the small print taketh away.
A businessman is a hybrid of a dancer and a calculator.
The speed of the leader determines the rate of the pack.

leadership management

Inside every working anarchy, there's an Old Boy Network.
In business, eternal vigilance is the price of liquidity.
The purpose of business is to create and keep a customer.

management

Business, that's easily defined—it's other people's money.
Boldness is business is the first, second, and third thing.
People want economy, and they will pay any price to get it.
Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art.
A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business.
Business has only two functions - marketing and innovation.

innovation marketing

Business once lost, does not easily return to the old hands.
Sooner or later, those who win are those who think they can.
We should distrust any enterprise that requires new clothes.

fashion

If you can build a business up big enough, it's respectable.
Our major obligation is not to mistake slogans for solutions.
The meek shall inherit the Earth, but not its mineral rights.
The businessman's judgement is no better than his information.
The smartest side to take in a bidding war is the losing side.

investing

It's not what you pay a man, but what he costs you that counts.
The hardest thing to understand in the world is the income tax.
Without some dissimulation no business can be carried on at all.
Never invest your money in anything that eats or needs repairing.
Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.

customers

The executive exists to make sensible exceptions to general rules.

CEO management

About the time we can make the ends meet, somebody moves the ends.

thrift

In business courtesy and efficiency have a symbiotic relationship.
It's easy to make a buck. It's a lot tougher to make a difference.

career

I've never swung at a ball while it's still in the pitcher's glove.

timing

The secret of business is to know something that nobody else knows.
Hell, there are no rules here—we're trying to accomplish something.
We don't have a monopoly. We have market share. There's a difference.
If you don't drive your business, you will be driven out of business.

work

It is easier to stay out of trouble than it is to get out of trouble.
The results of quality work last longer than the shock of high prices.
Blessed is he who has found his work; let him ask no other blessedness.

career determination work

Don't steal; thou'lt never thus compete successfully in business. Cheat.
If you break 100, watch your golf. If you break 80, watch your business.

golf

In business you get what you want by giving other people what they want.
As a small business person, you have no greater leverage than the truth.
Absorption of overhead is one of the most obscene terms I have ever heard.
It's only when the tide goes out that you learn who's been swimming naked.

investing

The absolute fundamental aim is to make money out of satisfying customers.
Business without profit is not business any more than a pickle is a candy.
I've got to keep breathing. It'll be my worst business mistake if I don't.
The reaction of weak management to weak operations is often weak accounting.
Only a monopolist could study a business and ruin it by giving away products.
The way to get things done is not to mind who gets the credit for doing them.

credit

There is only one valid definition of business purpose: to create a customer.

customers

A budget tells us what we can't afford, but it doesn't keep us from buying it.
If they need my help to manage the enterprise, we are probably both in trouble.

management

It is impossible to unsign a contract, so do all your thinking before you sign.
The herd instinct among forecasters makes sheep look like independent thinkers.
Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.
Government in the US today is a senior partner in every business in the country.

the economy

Regard it as just as desirable to build a chicken house as to build a cathedral.
Never be afraid to ask for too much when selling or offer too little when buying.
In the business world, the rearview mirror is always clearer than the windshield.
A friendship founded on business is better than a business founded on friendship.

friendship

I've always wanted to own and control the primary technology in everything we do.

Apple

The most important thing to do if you find yourself in a hole is to stop digging.

investing

Time is the scarcest resource and unless it is managed nothing else can be managed.
You can always juice sales by going down-market, but it's hard to go back upmarket.

management

Our business is infested with idiots who try to impress by using pretentious jargon.
The incestuous relationship between government and big business thrives in the dark.
When you combine ignorance and borrowed money, the consequences can get interesting.

investing

You got to treat folks right or you don't last long in business, not in this country.
Ask five economists and you'll get five different answers—six if one went to Harvard.

economists

Before you build a better mousetrap, it helps to know if there are any mice out there.
It takes less to keep an old customer satisfied than to get a new customer interested.

management sales

Just because something doesn't do what you planned it to do doesn't mean it's useless.
All business sagacity reduces itself in the last analysis to judicious use of sabotage.
Corporation: An ingenious device for obtaining profit without individual responsibility.

responsibility

The lesson of history is that true product / market fits are very precise (so, iterate!)

startup

The superior man understands what is right; the inferior man understands what will sell.

capitalism

Money itself doesn't interest me. But you must make money to go on building the business.
It used to be that people needed products to survive. Now products need people to survive.

advertising

Wise are those who learn that the bottom line doesn't always have to be their top priority.

leadership management

Whenever an individual or a business decides that success has been attained, progress stops.

attitude success

It is not the employer who pays—he only handles the money. It is the product that pays wages.

economics

Favorable surprises are easy to handle. It's the unfavorable surprises that cause the trouble.

change

In our business, one person can't do anything anymore. You create a team of people around you.

teamwork

Punctuality is one of the cardinal business virtues: always insist on it in your subordinates.
We enjoy the process far more than the proceeds, though I have learned to live with those also.
If you listen to your fears, you will die never knowing what a great person you might have been.

fear

The leader who exercises power with honour will work from the inside out, starting with himself.

leadership

The gambling known as business looks with austere disfavour upon the business known as gambling.

gambling

To be successful, you have to have your heart in your business, and your business in your heart.
The trouble with the profit system has always been that it was highly unprofitable to most people.

capitalism

If you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work.

career work

The invisible hand of the market always moves faster and better than the heavy hand of government.
You can fool all the people all the time if the advertising is right and the budget is big enough.
Remind people that profit is the difference between revenue and expense. This makes you look smart.
Business is like sex. When it's good, it's very, very good; when it's not so good, it's still good.

funny

Try, try, try, and keep on trying is the rule that must be followed to become an expert in anything.
The work of the individual still remains the spark that moves mankind ahead even more than teamwork.
People that pay for things never complain. It's the guy you give something to that you can't please.
One of the tests of leadership is the ability to recognize a problem before it becomes an emergency.

leadership

Success or failure in business is caused more by the mental attitude even than by mental capacities.
I think that, every time you see the word EBITDA, you should substitute the word 'bullshit earnings.'

investing management

I don't pay good wages because I have a lot of money; I have a lot of money because I pay good wages.

management managing people

A criminal is a person with predatory instincts who has not sufficient capital to form a corporation.

crime

I am a better investor because I am a businessman, and a better businessman because I am an investor.

investing

Men in business are in as much danger from those at work under them as from those that work against them.
No enterprise is more likely to succeed than one concealed from the enemy until it is ripe for execution.
Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.

leadership management managing people

One thing I could never abide was the leaving of money to lie idle, or even to have credit and not use it.

investing money

If you owe the bank $100 that's your problem. If you owe the bank $100 million, that's the bank's problem.
Successful enterprises are usually led by a proven chief executive who is a competent benevolent dictator.
I'm not a driven businessman, but a driven artist. I never think about money. Beautiful things make money.
It is not the employer who pays the wages. He only handles the money. It is the product that pays the wages.
Every young man would do well to remember that all successful business stands on the foundation of morality.
The best measure of a man's honesty isn't his income tax return. It's the zero adjust on his bathroom scale.
In a business society, the role of sex can be summed up in five pitiful little words.  There is money in it.
The great leaders are like the best conductors—they reach beyond the notes to reach the magic in the players.

leadership

The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind him in other men the conviction and the will to carry on.

leadership

When you are skinning your customers, you should leave some skin on to heal, so that you can skin them again.
A creative period like this lasts only maybe a decade, but it can be a golden decade if we manage it properly.

Apple iconic

Victory in our industry is spelled survival. The way we're going to survive is to innovate our way out of this.

Apple

Informed decision-making comes from a long tradition of guessing and then blaming others for inadequate results.

cynical

I find it rather easy to portray a businessman. Being bland, rather cruel, and incompetent comes naturally to me.
I find it rather easy to portray a businessman.  Being bland, rather cruel, and incompetent comes naturally to me.
There is no time for cut-and-dried monotony. There is time for work. And time for love. That leaves no other time!
In business, reinvest a portion of all you make, keep a portion for your use, and save a portion for those in need.
The business of government is to keep the government out of business – that is, unless business needs government aid.
If government were as afraid of disturbing the consumer as it is of disturbing business, this would be some democracy.
Perpetual devotion to what a man calls his business is only to be sustained by perpetual neglect of many other things.
Perpetual devotion to what a man calls his business, is only to be sustained by perpetual neglect of many other things.
The fastest way to succeed is to look as if you're playing by somebody else's rules, while quietly playing by your own.

success

Men err when they think they can be inhuman exploiters in their business life, and loving husbands and fathers at home.
In modern business it is not the crook who is to be feared most, it is the honest man who doesn't know what he is doing.
Sometimes I get the feeling that the two biggest problems in America today are making ends meet and making meetings end.
Business is never so healthy as when, like a chicken, it must do a certain amount of scratching around for what it gets.
Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats.

business ideas startup

The business schools reward difficult, complex behavior more than simple behavior, but simple behavior is more effective.

investing

One thing more dangerous than getting between a grizzly sow and her cub is getting between a businessman and a dollar bill.
The work an unknown good man has done is like a vein of water flowing hidden underground, secretly making the ground green.
The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant.

leadership

Web users ultimately want to get at data quickly and easily. They don't care as much about attractive sites and pretty design.

Internet

If the career you have chosen has some unexpected inconvenience, console yourself by reflecting that no career is without them.

career

In the business world, everyone is paid in two coins: cash and experience. Take the experience first; the cash will come later.
When did it become a problem to be a small businessman and become successful? The small businessman—like my father, or like me?
In a difficult business, no sooner is one problem solved than another surfaces—never is there just one cockroach in the kitchen.
It is unfortunate we can't buy many business executives for what they are worth and sell them for what they think they are worth.

CEO

It takes more than capital to swing business. You've got to have the AID degree to get by— Advertising, Initiative, and Dynamics.

advertising

It takes twenty years to build a reputation and five minutes to lose it. If you think about that, you will do things differently.

reputation

There are two kinds of companies, those that work to try to charge more and those that work to charge less. We will be the second.
The great lesson in microeconomics is to discriminate between when technology is going to help you and when it's going to kill you.

technology

Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.
Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.

leadership management vision

Profit in business comes from repeat customers, customers that boast about your project or service, and that bring friends with them.
I think that there is nothing, not even crime, more opposed to poetry, to philosophy, ay, to life itself than this incessant business.
The majority of men meet with failure because of their lack of persistence in creating new plans to take the place of those which fail.

failure

We succeed in enterprises which demand the positive qualities we possess, but we excel in those which can also make use of our defects.
The feminist surge will crest when a lady named Arabella, flounces and ruffles and all, can rise to the top of a Fortune 500 corporation.
If you aren't playing well, the game isn't as much fun. When that happens I tell myself just to go out and play as I did when I was a kid.
One thing I love about customers is that they are divinely discontent. Their expectations are never static – they go up. It's human nature.
The genius of a good leader is to leave behind him a situation which common sense, without the grace of genius, can deal with successfully.

leadership

It is an immutable law in business that words are words, explanations are explanations, promises are promises but only performance is reality.
Over the very long term, history shows that the chances of any business surviving in a manner agreeable to a company's owners are slim at best.
It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.

economics

Those are the only two choices. Win by being more ordinary, more standard, and cheaper. Or win by being faster, more remarkable, and more human.
We don't go into companies with the thought of effecting a lot of changes. That doesn't work any better in investments than it does in marriages.

investing marriage

Commerce, n. A kind of transaction in which A plunders from B the goods of C, and for compensation B picks the pocket of D of money belonging to E.

cynical

The most important quality in a leader is that of being acknowledged as such. All leaders whose fitness is questioned are clearly lacking in force.

leadership

Business more than any other occupation is a continual dealing with the future; it is a continual calculation, an instinctive exercise in foresight.
Business, more than any other occupation, is a continual dealing with the future; it is a continual calculation, an instinctive exercise in foresight.
There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.
The NBA is never just a business. It's always business. It's always personal. All good businesses are personal. The best businesses are very personal.
In college, Yuppies major in business administration. If to meet certain requirements they have to take a liberal arts course, they take Business Poetry.
There is a huge difference between the business that grows and requires lots of capital to do so and the business that grows and doesn't require capital.
The great personal fortunes in this country weren't built on a portfolio of fifty companies. They were built by someone who identified one wonderful business.
Like dogs in a wheel, birds in a cage, or squirrels in a chain, ambitious men still climb and climb, with great labour, and incessant anxiety, but never reach the top.
When a management team with a reputation for brilliance tackles a business with a reputation for bad economics, it is the reputation of the business that remains intact.

management

The man who will use his skill and constructive imagination to see how much he can give for a dollar, instead of how little he can give for a dollar, is bound to succeed.
Two-tier tender offers, Pac-Man and poison-pill defenses, crown- jewel options, greenmail, golden parachutes, self- tenders all have become part of our everyday business.
He who builds a better mousetrap these days runs into material shortages, patent-infringement suits, work stoppages, collusive bidding, discount discrimination--and taxes.

cynical

Dealing with people is probably the biggest problem you face, especially if you are in business. Yes, and that is also true if you are a housewife, architect, or engineer.

dealing with people

Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime. Teach a man to create an artificial shortage of fish and he will eat steak.

economics funny

In business we often find that the winning system goes almost ridiculously far in maximizing and or minimizing one or a few variables—like the discount warehouses of Costco.

management

Stock prices have been quoted in fractions for two centuries, based on a system descended from Spanish pieces of eight. Each dollar was cut into eight bits worth 12.5 cents each.
Do more than is required. What is the distance between someone who achieves their goals consistently and those who spend their lives and careers merely following? The extra mile.

success

I have found no greater satisfaction than achieving success through honest dealing and strict adherence to the view that, for you to gain, those you deal with should gain as well.
Most men are engaged in business the greater part of their lives because the soul abhors a vacuum, and they have not discovered any continuous employment for man's nobler faculties.
Sell well-designed, well-made technology products that aren't the cheapest on the market, but command dependable loyalty from customers because the Apple brand is a mark of quality.

Apple

The really good business manager doesn't wake up in the morning and say, 'This is the day that I am going to cut costs,' any more than he wakes up and decides to practice breathing.

management

To think that the new economy is over is like somebody in London in 1830 saying the entire industrial revolution is over because some textile manufacturers in Manchester went broke.

the economy

The human being who would not harm you on an individual, face-to-face basis, who is charitable, civic-minded, loving and devout, will wound or kill you from behind the corporate veil.
The salary of the chief executive of a large corporation is not a market award for achievement. It is frequently in the nature of a warm personal gesture by the individual to himself.

CEO value

I've never felt like I was in the cookie business. I've always been in a feel good feeling business. My job is to sell joy. My job is to sell happiness. My job is to sell an experience.
The difference between a good business and a bad business is that good businesses throw up one easy decision after another. The bad businesses throw up painful decisions time after time.

investing

Too many people think only of their own profit. But business opportunity seldom knocks on the door of self-centered people. No customer ever goes to a store merely to please the storekeeper.
Corporate identity specialists spend their time rechristening other companies, conducting a legal search and a linguistic search to insure that the name is not an insult in another language.

brand

Can you really explain to a fish what it is like to walk on land? One day on land is worth a thousand years talking about it, and one day running a business has exactly the same kind of value.
No institution can possibly survive if it needs geniuses or supermen to manage it. It must be organized in such a way as to be able to get along under a leadership composed of average human beings.

leadership management

We never look back. We just figure there is so much to look forward to that there is no sense thinking of what we might have done. It just doesn't make any difference. You can only live life forward.

investing

In the search for companies to acquire, we adopt the same attitude one might find appropriate in looking for a spouse: It pays to be active, interested, and open-minded, but it does not pay to be in a hurry.

investing

There's an old Wayne Gretzky quote that I love."I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been." And we've always tried to do that at Apple. Since the very, very beginning. And we always will.

Apple

A cardinal principle of Total Quality escapes too many managers: you cannot continuously improve interdependent systems and processes until you progressively perfect interdependent, interpersonal relationships.

management

When we bought See's Candy, we didn't know the power of a good brand. Over time, we just discovered that we could raise prices 10% a year and no one cared. Learning that changed Berkshire. It was really important.

brand

I was told to avoid the business altogether because of the rejection. People would say to me, 'Don't you want to have a normal job and a normal family?' I guess that would be good advice for some people, but I wanted to act.
Look at growth, look at how much time people spend on the Net and look at the variety of things that they are doing. It's all really good, so I am actually encouraged by the fundamentals that underlie usage growth on the Net.
The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.
Averaged out, betting on the quality of a business is better than betting on the quality of management . . . but, very rarely, you find a manager who's so good that you're wise to follow him into what looks like a mediocre business.

investing management

Raising prices for your product every year or two and grandfathering in existing customers is a great way to increase loyalty and grow your profit margins. (We did this several times over the next few years; it worked like a charm.)

product management startup

A lot of companies have chosen to downsize, and maybe that was the right thing for them. We chose a different path. Our belief was that if we kept putting great products in front of customers, they would continue to open their wallets.

management

The road to business success is paved by those who continually strive to produce better products or service. It does not have to be a great technological product like television. Ray Kroc of McDonald's fame did it with a simple hamburger.

quality

There are two traits fundamental to an effective product-focused business. The first is reach (i.e., the ability to influence a large audience). The second is scalability (i.e., an aptitude for growing revenue far more quickly than costs).

startup

What Apple is, is it's an environment where we can attract the best and the brightest people to come together and sort of have a common vision about how we can change the world, and it's very rare that we can actually put something back into the world.

Apple

Let's be honest. There's not a business anywhere that is without problems. Business is complicated and imperfect. Every business everywhere is staffed with imperfect human beings and exists by providing a product or service to other imperfect human beings.
Pro Tip: If you have any type of subscription or recurring revenue, make sure you measure LTV (Lifetime Value— the total revenue customers spend during their relationship with your firm) by referral source(s) and by the number of visits prior to conversion.

product management startup

A good managerial record is far more a function of what business boat you get into than it is of how effectively you row. Should you find yourself in a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is likely to be more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.

management

People think focus means saying yes to the thing you've got to focus on. But that's not what it means at all. It means saying no to the 100 other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I'm actually as proud of many of the things we haven't done as the things we have done.

focus

There are some customers which we chose not to serve. We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk, and our DNA will not let us ship that. But we can continue to deliver greater and greater value to those customer that we choose to serve. And there's a lot of them.
My model for business is the Beatles. They were four guys who kept each other's kind of negative tendencies in check. They balanced each other and the total was greater than the sum of the parts. That's how I see business: great things in business are never done by one person, they're done by a team of people.

teamwork

There are two kinds of businesses: The first earns 12%, and you can take it out at the end of the year. The second earns 12%, but all the excess cash must be reinvested—there's never any cash. It reminds me of the guy who looks at all of his equipment and says, 'There's all of my profit.' We hate that kind of business.

investing

What I found when I got here was a zillion and one products. It was amazing. And I started to ask people, now why would I recommend a 3400 over a 4400? When should somebody jump up to a 6500, but not a 7300? And after three weeks, I couldn't figure this out. If I couldn't figure this out, how could our customers figure this out?

product management

It's not about pop culture, and it's not about fooling people, and it's not about convincing people that they want something they don't. We figure out what they want. And I think we're pretty good at having the right discipline to think through whether a lot of other people are going to want it, too. That's what we get paid to do.

Apple marketing

We've never worried about numbers. In the marketplace, Apple is trying to focus the spotlight on products, because products really make a difference. Ad campaigns are necessary for competition; IBM's ads are everywhere. But good PR educates people; that's all it is. You can't con people in this business. The product speak for themselves.

product management

It doesn't matter how many times you fail. It doesn't matter how many times you almost get it right. No one is going to know or care about your failures, and neither should you. All you have to do is learn from them and those around you because ... All that matters in business is that you get it right once. Then everyone can tell you how lucky you are.

failure

It has long since become a familiar observation that generals regularly spend their time
preparing to fight the war. Managers often do the same. Whether from the force of
habit or from the appeal of comfortable modes of thought and action, they often fail to
see how the problems that beset them are unlike those with which they have become
familiar.

change management

To take something from a person and keep it for oneself: that is robbery. To take something from one person and then turn it over to another in exchange for as much money as you can get: that is business. Robbery is so much more stupid, since it is satisfied with a single, frequently dangerous profit; whereas in business it can be doubled without danger.
In terms of business mistakes that I've seen over a long lifetime, I would say that trying to minimize taxes too much is one of the great standard causes of really dumb mistakes. I see terrible mistakes from people being overly motivated by tax considerations. ... Anytime somebody offers you a tax shelter from here on in life, my advice would be don't buy it.

taxes

Under the new industrial competition, there are no frozen niches in frozen markets for which established producers compete like so many successive dictators in a banana republic. Markets and industries are themselves in flux, and to the winners belong not so much the old-fashioned spoils of victory as the right to define the terms of competition in the future.
That's simply untrue. As soon as we can lower prices, we do. It's true that our computers are less expensive today than they were a few years ago, or even last year. But that's also true of the IBM PC. Our goal is to get computers out to tens of millions of people, and the cheaper we can make them, the easier it's going to be to do that. I'd love it if Macintosh cost $1,000.

Apple

Making money resembles chess in [many] ways, not least its cozy relationship with mathematics, more in its abundance of traps, plays, gambit, stratagems, variation, even in its recognized offensive and defensive openings. As in chess, the money-maker gains more through his opponent's mistakes than through his own immaculate brilliance, and for every winner, there must be at least one loser.

competition

At Berkshire there has never been a master plan. Anyone who wanted to do it, we fired because it takes on a life of its own and doesn't cover new reality. We want people taking into account new information. Whenever I think of "master plans," I remember Nebraska Furniture Mart's founder, Mrs. B., who, in response to a question about having a business plan, replied in her thick Russian accent, "Yeah, sell cheap and tell the truth." She was a business genius.

management

I get asked a lot why Apple's customers are so loyal. It's not because they belong to the Church of Mac! That's ridiculous. It's because when you buy our products, and three months later you get stuck on something, you quickly figure out [how to get past it]. And you think, "Wow, someone over there at Apple actually thought of this!". . .. There's almost no product in the world that you have that experience with, but you have it with a Mac. And you have it with an iPod.

Apple product management

There's a classic thing in business, which is the second-product syndrome. Often companies that have a really successful first product don't quite understand why that product was so successful. And so with the second product, their ambitions grow and they get much more grandiose, and their second product fails. They fail to get it out, or it fails to resonate with the marketplace because they really didn't understand why their first product resonated with the marketplace.

product management

[The loss of old companies is] inevitably what happens. That's why I think death is the most wonderful invention of life. It purges the system of these old models that are obsolete. I think that's one of Apple's challenges, really. When two young people walk in with the next thing, are we going to embrace it and say this is fantastic? Are we going to be willing to drop our models, or are we going to explain it away? I think we'll do better, because we're completely aware of it and we make it a priority.

change death

I used to be the youngest guy in every meeting I was in, and now I'm usually the oldest. And the older I get, the more I'm convinced that motives make so much difference. HP's primary goal was to make great products. And our primary goal here is to make the world's best PCs—not to be the biggest or the richest. We have a second goal, which is to always make a profit—both to make some money but also so we can keep making those great products. For a time, those goals got flipped at Apple, and that subtle change made all the difference. When I got back we had to make it a product company again.

Apple

One of the things I learned at Pixar is the technology industries and the content industries do not understand each other. In Silicon Valley and at most technology companies, I swear that most people think the creative process is a bunch of guys in their early 30s, sitting on a couch, drinking beer and thinking of jokes. No, they really do. That's how television is made, they think; that's how movies are made. People in Hollywood and in the content industries, they think technology is something you just write a check for and buy. They don't understand the creativity element of technology. These are like ships passing in the night.

media technology